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Blind man loses everything to burglars who struck twice

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

By Joel Cooper

ROBBED: Art student and burglary victim Connor Mackay with his friend Matt Hyder.    Picture: Mike Southon Ref: BNMS20130204F-004_C

ROBBED: Art student and burglary victim Connor Mackay with his friend Matt Hyder. Picture: Mike Southon Ref: BNMS20130204F-004_C

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A BLIND man who was targeted by thieves three times in one week has told the Journal that the experience has left him feeling numb.

Third year art degree student Connor MacKay, 39, of Chandlers Way in Ilfracombe, was burgled twice last month.

The first incident happened on January 25 between 5.30pm and 7.50pm.

The second burglary took place sometime between January 26 and January 28.

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Connor, who is registered blind and only has 25 per cent vision, had almost all of his worldly possessions stolen including his flat screen television, PS3 console, 500 DVDs, one of his own paintings and a guitar amplifier.

On January 21 Connor also had a laptop stolen from him while on the bus back from Petroc.

The computer, which was given to him through the college to help him complete his fine art degree, contained several digital drawings and all his coursework.

Connor, who is a singer and guitarist, said: "Fortunately some of the work on the laptop was backed up but some of it has been lost completely.

"The Marshall guitar amplifier was given to me by a friend who died last year and is of great sentimental value.

"I never thought something like this would happen, my living room is completely bare."

Connor, who was born with a condition called binocular congenital cataracts, has been staying with his best friend Matt Hyder since the burglaries took place.

He said: "I can't even stand to be in the flat any more, it's left me feeling numb.

"Matt's been a brilliant friend, he's really looked after me."

Connor believes the thieves could be people who know him and know his routine.

He said: "I want whoever did this to know that it has only made my resolve stronger.

"I am determined to carry on and I refuse to be a victim."

North Devon Sector Inspector Roger Bartlett said it was a sickening offence.

He said: "Crimes of this nature, whilst very rare locally, are very disturbing especially with the added factors of Mr Mackay's disability and the fact that he has been a repeat victim.

"It is very possible that he may have been targeted because of his disability. If that is so, then that makes the actions of the offenders even more sickening.

"We are treating this series of events as if that is the case and our diversity officer is providing additional support to Mr MacKay."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or DC Sara Withecombe on 101 quoting crime reference number CI/13/90.

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